Consequences, Crash-Calls and Cannulas: my first week as a surgical FY1.

24 September 2017

Can you please prescribe these patients some fluids Doctor?”- these are the first words I hear as I step onto the surgical admissions unit for my first day as an F1 after drawing the rota short straw -starting the colloquially termed ‘Black Wednesday’ as an F1 on a surgical on-call shift. I momentarily stare blankly at the nurse as I try to figure out who she was talking to; I had gotten so used to the trusty medical student phrase of “I’m just a medical student” whenever anyone made eye-contact with you on the ward that I had forgotten that I was now the doctor and this phrase would no longer get me out of situations. Although theoretically I knew how to prescribe thanks to many a prescribing masterclasses with Dr Hepburn; in reality, it was nerve racking being asked to prescribe on an ACTUAL prescription chart after being used to a practice chart with no consequences.

I would say the biggest change from being a medical student to be an FY1 doctor is the newly found accountability. I went from being a protected medical student with any entries in notes or prescription charts being checked over and counter-signed to being the one doing this for other medical students. There was no time to get used to this sudden change- especially whilst on call; however it was always in the back of my mind no matter what I did, that my actions do have consequences and I have to be aware of that.

Part of my role of being the on-call surgical FY1 involved being a part of the crash-call team, something which I had never experienced as a medical student. Attending my first call was nerve racking however over the week, I slowly got used to being part of a well supported team and put my life support training and skills into action.

My first week as an F1 was a steep learning curve, one which I am still adjusting to.  Medical school teaches you the clinical skills, the reasoning skills and communication skills to be a doctor- however there are other aspects of being a doctor that you just cannot be prepared for and have to pick up as you go along. The reassuring thing is, there are thousands of other FY1s across the country feeling exactly like you feel and eventually adjust to this newly found role.


Dr Oladunni Adeleye is a Hull York Medical School graduate (Class of 2017) currently undertaking an academic foundation programme in Leicester.

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